The National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is New Zealand's qualification for senior secondary school students.

NCEA is a standards-based assessment combining a mix of both internal and external assessments. Secondary school students have the opportunity of studying for Levels 1-3 of NCEA, as well as entering for scholarship examinations.

The NCEA requirements at each level are:

  • Level 1: 80 credits at Level 1 or higher
  • Level 2: a minimum of 60 credits at Level 2 and 20 credits from any other level (either higher or lower)
  • Level 3: a minimum of 80 credits, of which 60 must be at Level 3 or above, and 20 at Level 2, or above

Students who achieve more than fifty credits with Merit (or better) at any one level, and students who achieve more than fifty credits with Excellence at any one level are awarded Endorsement Certificates. Students can also achieve course endorsements for each subject they study by achieving fourteen or more credits at Merit or Excellence (which must include at least three credits in internal and external assessments).

At Queen Margaret College, students study more than the minimum NCEA requirements and our pass rates annually are well above the national standard at each level of NCEA.

Able students can enter for Scholarship when they are studying Level 3 or IB Diploma. Successful candidates receive monetary recognition of their achievement. Criteria apply.

More information about NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship can be found on the website of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA):